Buck&Blossom'sMom

Saddle Question- Buena Vista 316

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I clicked on your link and got: Page not found error.

But Buena Vista saddles are very cool.

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okay... lets try this:

my neighbor gave this to me, he used to ride his gaited mare in it. i have a few questions. can you tell me more about this saddle? age?? its stamped genuine buena vista, and has # 316 on it.

why does the "girth" have two leather straps?? i am a western saddle kinda gal, and i have had english saddles in the past, but non have had the two straps like this saddle does. how do you cinch it up?? One is most definitly longer than the other.

also, do you use a special saddle pad? or can you use a western saddle pad? i am exited about this saddle. i have researched it, and have not quite found the history i have wanted on it, but have discovered its a favorite among gaited riders. any suggestions would be appreciated. sorry the saddle is so dirty in the pics. i just got it and have not had time to clean it up. it even has a dirt dobber nest in the gullett!!!

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I think I may have found your saddle in the 1959 Bona Allen saddle catalog. It's listed as : No.316 The "Buena Vista" It gives all the particulars and a photo. The "16" was to show that it had a16 inch seat. There was also a 317 Buena Vista and a 318 Buena Vista.

PM me your postal address and I'll be happy to run a copy off and mail it to you. [smiley Wavey]

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Wow, it looks just like mine! I love riding in mine, it's real comfy! Enjoy it! :smilie:

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Buck&Blossom'sMom ~ I put those things in the mail today, so you should get them early next week. Hope it's what you're looking for.

Your saddle may be older than from 1959. Bona Allen didn't change things every few years like some saddle makers. They made the same good styles year after year. One of the oldest saddle makers in the country, established in 1873, in Buford, Georgia, by Bonaparte Allen. He died in 1926 and left the business to his employees. Just some trivia for your information.

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Jack,

THANKS!! I got it, and yep, that's the saddle. After cleaning and closer inspection, its a "318" After a RIDING inspection, i have found that the stirrup leathers are dry rotted- and BROKE! SO> i am in a new dilemma, how in the WORLD do you change stirrup leathers on these types saddles? There is no visible stirrup bar ( Like an English Saddle)

Anyone with any information on how to change stirrup leathers on a plantation type saddle is greatly appreciated!!

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Buck&Blossom'sMom ~ Could you show us a picture of the stirrup leather area? Perhaps we can figure it out. Could it be that the leathers go over the bars of the tree like on a western saddle? Inquiring old geezers want to know! [smiley Wavey]

Glad you got the catalog pages.

Edited by Jack Baumgartner

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Ask and you shall receive!!

Okay, here is a side shot of the whole saddle, finally cleaned up (notice the leathers run through the fenders, up into the saddle:

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If you lift the fender/ flap, here is what you see. The larger, thicker leather with the holes in it is the girth strap comming down. Can you see where the stirrup leather comes in through the hole in the fender, and goes up towards the "black hole" of no return in the saddle?

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here is a closer look. See what i mean! how in the world do you change these leathers!!

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Here are some pictures of the underside of the saddle. the "tree" runs smoothly into the pad things. I don't see any openings that would tell me what the leathers run up, and hook too.

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SO>.. what do you think? i wonder what would happen if i took the screw off. Its located above the buena vista stamp, but below the ring where you would attach a breast collar.

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Here is a picture of the back. The plate says "Bonna Allen" "Makers since 1873"

So..... any help, opinons... anything!!!

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I'm betting that the stirrup leathers go up and over the tree bars, then back down under the bars. What I do on a western saddle is push the stirrup leather up through so it comes out under the middle, then start it back down through, making sure it goes below the bar on the way back down.

If you have someone handy with saddles in your area, he coulld do it for you. Making new leathers out of strap leather is easy. I keep sides of different thicknesses of leather here for that purpose. I just set what width I want on my cutter and slice away.

Edited to say: The picture of the back never showed up. I think it's neat when we can get something figured out about a saddle. Good luck with it.

Edited by Jack Baumgartner

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I'd go with Jack on that one ... over the tree, or through a slot in the tree.

The tree looks like a standard English style tree as far as how it's pocketed into the panels at the front, so that sure seems like it would make the most sense. If that is the case, and it's a slot that locks the leathers into place, I'd be careful and match the size of your irons to your boot size correctly. Here's why.

English and Aussie saddles loop over a stirrup bar. They are similar with the exception that an English bar has a metal-sprung latch at the back to keep the stirrup leather from sliding off inadvertently. If you give a big yank to that leather, though, it will come out. Aussie saddles actually have no spring latch, and are just curved slightly.

While you might think this is dangerous, it's actually done for safety's sake. If you hang up in that stirrup during a fall or an emergency dismount, you have a greater chance of the leather coming free and allowing you to avoid a dragging than you would on a western saddle. I led a horse through a gate once and caught a stirrup on my Aussie on a branch and when the horse spooked a bit, it pulled the stirrup leather parallel to the hanger, and off came the leather.

I would have to surmise that this is because of the rough country those stock saddles operated in.

In fact, if you watch the movie, "The Man from Snowy River" he pulls off a stirrup leather at full gallop and uses it as a weapon to knock a guy around, and then quickly rehangs the leather when he's done.

And that's Rolling Thunder's Useless Trivia Tidbit for today! :)

Edited by RollingThunder

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The pictures are good, looks just like mine only mine is a 317. The stirrup leathers on mine go through slots in the tree about half way up on the bars. They are not loops and the leathers can not be removed easily or quickly.

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Murray ~ Thanks for the additional info. When I was trading horses, I saw a lot of these saddle at other traders', but never had any call for them, so I knew very little about them.

I like the way we can exchange information on HC. If we don't know something, you can bet somebody else will! [smiley Wavey]

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A lot of TLC and a healthy and well-applied dose of Blackrock and that saddle would look nearly new pardner! Why don't you give it a go cleaning it up and see if you can't get it squared away?

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I was in the process of doing it but stopped. Ill have to try that Murphys oil soap and water trick. Though Im not sure how to take the saddle apart and put it back together.

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If you don't know how to take it apart and put it back together, find a saddler that does, and ask them how. Worth the effort, and you might find several online if you do some surfing.

:D

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